Monday, April 4, 2011

2011 D&R Canal 5K Race Report

First off: On this day in 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated in Memphis. The next time you hear racist anti-worker teatards like Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity attempt to co-opt King's message, remember that King was in Memphis to support striking sanitation workers — members of the AFSCME union ... which is also my union. So yes, Hannity, Limbaugh, Beck, Christie, Walker, et al. — this is personal.

Saturday I ran, for the 4th year in a row, in the D&R Canal Watch 5K race. The results for this year's race are not up yet; if past experience serves as accurate predictor, they won't be up for about another week. So the numbers I will be giving in this post are unofficial, needless to say.

And why not just put the spoilers right out there for those of you who would have skipped to the end anyway to avoid all the unnecessary in-between verbiage1? So here you go:

My time was 24:47 and I finished 61st. This was in a field of 300+  runners, I would guess2. Possibly 400? I won't know for certain until the official results are posted. I know (see video below) that my bib was #300 exactly and that I saw foax walking around with numbers in the high 400s; but there was also a 1-mile walk, so those numbers can't be trusted3.

I PR'd at this race last year, with a time of 23:53 — the first, last, and only time I have/will seen/see the 23-minute mark in a 5k race, in all likelihood. I'm nearly fitty-one, after all. So that was a bit of a bummer.

But the not-bummers outnumber the bummers: I was 73rd in a field of 288 last year; I finished higher up in a (possibly?) larger field this year. I was not feeling that great on Saturday morning; but despite that I ran well enough to finish sub-25, which, for me, is also a bit of a rarity. And it was a beautiful day for a run — so ... nothing wrong with that.

Also, it's impossible to make a true comparison between last year's race and this year's because they had to significantly alter the race course this year due to a bridge's being out. Last year's course was an out-and-back — essentially a mile-and-a-half out along the river; then a mile-and-a-half back along the canal. Well, the road and bridge where we crossed to the canal path was washed out. So this year's course involved a couple of loops inside the island community of Titusville, which lies between the river and the canal4.

I tried to figure out if this made the course faster or slower or essentially the same. Upshot: I couldn't tell. I do know that near the end of the race, I was so close to puking that I was asking myself not only why I do these things, but also why I had signed up for a late-April 15k race, which is basically doing this same race only three times.

May the Sweet Baby Jebus have mercy on my soles. Also, on the toenails of my second toe, the longest one (That's What She ... etc.).

What you can't hear in this video — thanks to the fucking wind — is when I call Washington a "stupid douche" for using boats to cross the Delaware when there's a bridge RIGHT THERE (you can see it in the video). I stand by that statement. Still, I am glad he got toTrenton in time to stop Hitler and make our nation safe for future secret Muslim Kenyan Socialist Dictators to become President.

1 My opening paragraph having most likely already driven away any teatards who might otherwise have been willing to read this post to its conclusion, I am now deliberately driving away any impatient readers by giving away the ending. It is far more fun for me to alienate you all a segment at a time rather than all at once with some Universally Alienating Statement.

Though I am quite capable of a UAS. I'm sure no one doubts that.

2 I noted my time as I crossed the finish line and I stayed around long enough to seem my tag go up on the board in the #61 position. But then I had to leave (narked THREE bagels first, though!). As those of you who read my tweets already know, Saturday was a busy day and I had to get home so we could all got to Philadelphia to visit Teh 'Dad.

Who, by the way, is fine. His short term memory is going, but since we always see him after lunch, he's better when we visit than when Teh 'Bro does (typically at night time). (As lil sis points out, this is the Sundowner Syndrome; old foax tend to be less alert as bedtime approaches. Don't we all?)

Anyroad, we talked about the exciting Phillies opener, which Teh 'Dad had also watched (but couldn't remember the score of); and I told him how I watched it at night (because we'd DVR'd the afternoon game) and I didn't know that Teh 'Bride already knew the final score and so the Phils were losing 4-2 going into the bottom of the 9th and I was all (typically) "FUCKING PHILLIES!1! NO support for Doc!11!" etc., etc. and then of course they pulled it out in the 9th. And Teh 'Dad was acting all shocked that I would use such language, and made all sorts of suggestions to Teh 'Bride as to how she should punish me. To which I said, "She's punished me enough! She knew they were gonna win, and never let on! Not even a 'Be patient'! NOTHING!1!" Of course, if she had spoiled it for me, I would have been angry.

So ... a couple of "FUCKING PHILLIES!1!" never really hurt anyone, do they?

3 Fucking numbers! Another reason I don't trust them: The number 69 seduced my felt gnome away from me. (It's obvious why the gnome would go for a 69. Who wouldn't?)

Stupid gnome! I could have made it happy if it had just told me what it was into. Gnomes are whoo-wers!

4 So, yeah, technically not a real island.


  1. 5k's hurt, it's pure torture all teh way...the 15k? Well, LooMoo tells me it's a lot like only hurts for a little while, then you fall into a comfortable pace....

  2. Great race! Don't give up on 23 minutes yet. The author of 'Born to Run' quotes an 'expert' as saying that you can run the same speed at 57 as you did at 18. With highly detailed documentated research like that, it must be true.

    Plus I cracked 100 minutes in a half marathon this weekend and I thought that could never possibly happen. Now time to start training to run one in 99 :)

  3. I love Georgia Snail's comment.

  4. Congrats, G!!!!!! That is a quite respectable time. I'm with FlianBrash - 23 minutes (or even faster!) is NOT unattainable. Keep up your training, do a bit of speed work and those fitty-one-year-old legs of yours might just surprise you. Be advised, however: Speed work is agony. 800 repeats make lube-less anal seem downright pleasant.

  5. First of all, thanks to all who are making suggestions as to how I might become speedier. I certainly wouldn't mind bettering my current 5k PR. And my thanks is heart-felt.

    Thing is, I'm not going to affirmatively do anything to bring that about because I don't know what an "800" is (though I have an idea from context clues from reading y'all's blogs) and I don't belong to a health club or have access to a track (that I know of) - which it appears is a sine qua non of doing 800s - and I really, really am NOT going to do anything like "speedwork" because I see y'all on your own blogs doing nothing but complaining about it and I'm really not all that into running except as a way of staying healthy and so while getting faster, to me, would be nice, I really am NOT going to do any of the weird masochistic stuff that the rest of y'all do to get faster.

    I'm not trying to be mean or unappreciative here: Just blunt. Because I get the feeling that many of you just can't conceive of someone's not wanting to work to get faster. But I'm really not kidding. If I get faster, that's certainly nice, but, for me, that's really all it is. Just regular running is torture enough and I only do it to keep my eyes from getting too fat; and then I run races every once in awhile to keep things marginally interesting.

    But I have no illusions about my abilities; I'm never going to be much better than I already am and, even if I could be? To me?

    It's just not worth the effort.

    But thanks anyway. For realz.

  6. You need to read or reread the story "The Little Train that Could" and start thinking "I think I can...I think I can..." because, as Ian says, "you COULD." And I know, from my professional involvement with athletes, YOU COULD. So the "could" comments above are correct. Yes, you acknowledge the "could" potential, but you qualify it with "IF"--that doesn't count. And OMG "[to you] it's just not worth the effort????" Hmmmm...... COULD be worth the effort if you share it with Ian. He could help you with intervals/fast miles, and I am sure he would be thrilled if you PR'd again. can't give up the effort for a PR; you just CAN'T. I'M still trying and YOU KNOW I AM OLDER THAN YOU ARE, so, if YOU GIVE UP, I'll be LOST!!!
    Are you really going to let a Granny outdo you????? I guess you COULD........:))))

  7. Only 400 runners? Pfffffftt. I was at a wedding saturday night with more people than that. I still might have finished 69th though. Good job!

  8. I worked hard to get faster. It was tough. I'm not especially gifted. I managed to be just fast enough for a little while. I qualified for Boston, ran some decent times in other races, but I knew I would never have the motivation to work hard enough to be REALLY fast.

    Now I'm back to slowpoke land, and while I do miss the feeling of running a 7:30 mile, I'm just not sure I want to put in the work required to get back to that place. I'm happy to plod along at my cruising speed of 9:30-10:00 miles.

    There's no shame in being a back of the packer. :)

  9. Nice job on the 5K (hmm, is there an emoticon for "I'm not being facetious for once" I don't know?).

    While stuck in a waiting room, I read a Sports Illustrated article about the Phillies pitching. I think it's going to come down to Blanton and middle relief; someone in that flamethrowing starting rotation's going to get injured and Blanton will have to step in - if it's the sole lefty, the Phillies may have real problems.

    The Twins ace has an ERA of 15.8! The second-best is over 8! The great closer threw 31 pitches in the 9th in his first game! The second baseman is a converted shortstop and the shorstop's a converted 2nd baseman!

    There is no such thing as an universal alienating statement, except maybe "Rob Schneider sex tape."

  10. Right on, G!! Nice work on the 5K. And I am with you 100% on this:

    Just regular running is torture enough and I only do it to keep my eyes (ass for me) from getting too fat; and then I run races every once in awhile to keep things marginally interesting.

  11. Boo fucking hoo.

    You won't see 24's again.

    I am pretty certain I will never see sub 30 again.

    Catching up on posts in no particular order...

    1. Tweeting from an iPad. Who ARE you? IS htis the same guy that refuses to get a Garmin, because he will bow down to "the man"?

    2. The Yelly Pants exchange = hilarious

    3. What is the deal with fisting a felt gnome? I assume that is what you meant by being "all hands" in your previous post.

    4. Then I come to see you are hanging with women that are impressed by your long second toe? What kind of weird shit are you into these days?

    Man, I go away for a little while and the depravity level of The Fourinone Blog (and what is that title about? Now I am thinking it is some gnome group sex thing) jumps off the fucking scale.


  12. That was supposed to be "...he will NOT bow down to 'the man'"

    but I guess Blogger knows you better hthan me. :)

  13. Christ! The 24:XX time was the slower one?

    That is a pretty damn great race.

    Whiny bastard.

  14. I'd love to see 24:xx one time. Like you posted in your comment though - all I ever do when I talk about speedwork is complain about how hard it is. Would it be really worth the PAIN to see 24:xx?


    Never run a 15k yet, but the way Peachy Escargot describes it, I'd like to go find one...

    Glad Teh Dad is doing well :)